Monday, April 18, 2005

Day 99 - Little Things

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Well, tomorrow we are about to hit day 100 of our "Boots on Ground" of deployment and I think that knowing that we are getting closer to being one third done with our one year stint is causing me to wax poetic about what is precisely that makes us miss "the other person" so much.

At the beginning of this deployment, a bunch of us National Guard wives had a discussion about how we went into auto pilot for a little while, walking through the motions of life, numb to the day in, day out elements of everything, and then suddenly, out of nowhere, something small would shock us back to reality -- and bring everything to the forefront. It was funny, for a lot of us, it was laundry. We would be doing the laundry, and a stray sock or a t-shirt that got left behind would bring back emotions that we had buried so deep and tried so hard to ignore.

There have been so many "little things" like that have made me think of Al -- tiny things really, that sometimes can make me get the biggest grin - and sometimes can instantly bring tears to my eyes. I can't smell a cup of coffee early in the morning - without thinking about him drinking his first cup of coffee - the couple in front of me at church yesterday reminded me of what I want Al and me to be like in forty years, holding hands and still in love - my throat still gets a knot in it just thinking about it.

The picture that opens this entry is of the tornado shelter that I drive by every day on my to work - it's close to my house. When Al and I first dated - and he first came out to my house - one year ago at the end of this month - he commented on the shelter - how much he admired it - how smart he thinks it is to have one, etc. And I always joked with him about it -- it became a running thing with us - I started calling him "Grandpa" because most guys admire hot cars - but not my Al, he admires tornado shelters. Well, after he deployed and he was "gone, gone", the first time I drove past that tornado shelter I bawled my freaking eyes out the rest of the way home. Of course, I had been bawling most of the way home from Mississippi anyway, so the last two miles was no big deal.

But now, that tornado shelter is so special to me, because every morning, and every night on my way to work - and on my way home, it's my reminder to pray for him -- I'm constantly praying for him and thinking of him anyway -- but it's my "extra" reminder. But it means more to me than that, it means that the little things in life - the special things - the things that you don't even know are there - until the person isn't there - you need to treasure them - you need to savor them like a fine wine. Their stinky socks that they leave on the floor? Don't crank at them for them - someday they might not be around to leave them there. Even stinky socks and tornado shelters are special. I promise.


Sue said...

I've never seen a tornado shelter before...thanks for sharing! And congrats on Day 100!

Dawn said...

Mel... Each day you continue to amaze me. Your constant love and support, you faith in God, the devotion to Al and Em, You are a blessed woman. I pray that you will always be blessed!! I love ya girl!!

Deb (aka band mom @ BFS) said...

You're such an inspiration!
Just wanted you to know that you and Al and Em are always in our prayers!

Call Me Grandma said...

I can feel your thoughts. I sure have my moments of meltdown. Thanks for sharing...God Bless you and yours, Cathy...Dan's mom